6th February 1945

The evacuation program is still meeting with difficulties. The Mainichi reports today that some of the evacuees are even re­turning to the cities, either because they could not get along with their new neighbors in the countryside or because they could ‘ find no work. Calling for better planning on the part of the govern­ment and a more patriotic attitude on the part of the evacuees, the Mainichi emphasises that “evacuation does not mean to take re­fuge but to take a new post in the fighting line.”

I had lunch today with the president of the local Indone­sian Union. The organization is unofficial and semi-secret because the Japanese have not made up their minds about Indonesian indepen­dence and meantime have tried to divide the Indonesians in Japan, for instance quartering the Java, Sumatra, Borneo, and Malaya stu­dents in. separate dormitories. However they manage to keep in touch with one another at religious festivals. The Japanese would be surprised to learn, the president of the union told me, that at least 15 of the Indonesians attending these Mohammedan festivals are Christians.

Later one of the Filipinos in Japan called to ask for advice. He had published a Tagalog-Nippongo grammar-dictionary and now his Japanese publisher was trying to cut down on his royalties by claiming that several hundred copies had been “spoiled” and that some sort of new tax was payable on the rest. A Nisei friend chimed in with the story that after he had gone through the Nazi blitz on London the Japanese consul there had asked him to write an article on his experiences for the instruction of Japanese school-teachers. The article had been duly written and published but he had never been paid what he had been promised for it.

The Nisei stayed late into the night. He was obviously lonely. I asked him about his family and his home. He answered bluntly that he was not happy there. “I can’t even trust my own sister,” he grinned mirthlessly. “I think the police have gotten her to spy on me.” She was brought up in Japan; he was born and reared in London and was in Japan only for a short visit when the war caught him.

The Niseis are not very happy in Japan. He claims he has suffered more from discrimination in Japan than he ever did in England. In a way it is not to be wondered at so much in his particular case. The first time I met him he could not even read the signs in the subway stations; we lost our way and he had to sleep in my hotel. His Nippongo has still a very pronounced British accent. His thoughts of course are British. It is not difficult to tell what he wants; he is quite frank about it; he wants to “go home” to London. In the meantime he reads and re-reads his collection of Reader’s Digests, listens for hours to American swing, and hangs around the Filipinos in Tokyo because he can share with them some of his nostalgia. He is very young, very short, and very friendly, with a sharp humorous face. In the daytime he works with an oil company; he was designing improvements for the wells in Balikpapan and would have been sent there eventually if the war had not taken & turn for the worse. Some nights he gets extra pay for sleeping in the office and acting as air-raid warden; his experience in London has made him quite an authority and he is contemptuous of the American fire-bombs. The Germans used really big ones, he said; once he was thrown out of his bed by an explosion in the next block.

Somehow, perhaps because he is English and not American, he is different from most of the other Niseis, many of whom are so terrorized by the police that they spy on one another, bending over backward to prove they are true Japanese. My friend is nice. He never thinks of himself as a Japanese; it just never occurs to him.

He uses “we” and “they” in the wrong places. “We” do it in this way and “they” are crazy. But he does not hate or despise the Japanese; perhaps an atavistic memory helps him to understand, to forgive, to sympathize; his defense is not bitter, quarrelsome, it is tolerant, humorous, that of a sympathetic stranger.


April 1, 1942

A friend of mine was shocked. He was standing near one of the Japanese garrisons in Manila. He saw a major entering the gate and all the soldiers stood at attention. The major was his former gardener.

Preparations are being made for the next rice planting season. The Bureau of Plant Industry is in charge of the production campaign. They have formulated plans towards increased production. Contrary to the general opinion, the NARIC has nothing to do with planting. We only take care of procurement and distribution.

Planes have been active the whole day. It is midnight and I can hear their droning. My chauffeur said he saw ten truckloads of Japanese dead passing through Avenida Rizal last night There must be heavy fighting in Bataan.

Sumatra is now completely under Japanese control, according to Domei. Half of the captured enemy troops were Dutch and British, according to the report. The Japanese sun is rising higher and higher. When shall it set?


11th of February, 1522

Tuesday night (between it and Wednesday,) on the 11th of February of 1522, we left the island of Timor, and entered upon the great sea named Laut Chidol [280] and taking a west-south-west course, we left to the right and to the North, from fear of the Portuguese, the island of Zumatra, anciently named Taprobana; also Pegu, Bengala, Urizza, Chelim, where are the Malabars, subjects of the King of Narsinga: Calicut which is under the same king; Cambaya in which are the Guzeratis; Cananor, Goa, Armus, and all the other coast of India major.

In this kingdom dwell six classes of persons, that is to say: Nairs, Panicals, Franas, Pangelins, Macuas, and Poleas. The Nairs are the chiefs; the Panicals are the townspeople; these two classes live and converse together. The Franas collect the wine from the palm trees and the bananas. The Macuas are fishermen; and the Poleas sow and harvest the rice; these last always dwell in the fields, and never enter the city, and when it is desired to give them anything, it is placed on the ground and they take it. When they go along the roads they always cry out, po, po, po, that is take care of yourself; and we were told that a Nair who had been accidentally touched by a Polea, not to survive such a disgrace, had himself killed.

In order to double the Cape of Good Hope, we went as far as 42° South latitude, and we remained off that cape for nine weeks, with the sails struck on account of the Western and North-western gales which beat against our bows with fierce squalls. The Cape of Good Hope is in 34° 30′ South latitude, 1600 leagues distant from the Cape of Malacca, and it is the largest and most dangerous cape in the world.

Some of our men, and among them the sick, would have liked to land at a place belonging to the Portuguese called Mozambique, both because the ship made much water, and because of the great cold which we suffered; and much more because we had nothing but rice and water for food and drink, all the meat of which we had made provision having putrified, for the want of salt had not permitted us to salt it. But the greater number of us, prizing honour more than life itself, decided on attempting at any risk to return to Spain.